Did I kill my frig?? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 18 Old 07-21-2008 Thread Starter
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Did I kill my frig??

After taking out my 1988 Catalina 30 on fourth of July weekend, I failed to turn on the main AC breaker switch after connecting the shore power cord. I had the battery selector switch on "both" and left the Adler Barbour refrigerator switch on. When I returned to the boat this weekend, with 100 degree temps in Dallas my beer was quite warm . While hot beer is a tragedy, my real concern is the state of my refrigerator. After first checking battery voltage (nada) and then discovering my brain burp which resulted in no battery charging for 2 weeks, I assumed battery replacement would solve my dead frig problem.
Unfortunately, after installing 2 new group 29 deep cycles the refrigerator will not come on. I have read that low voltage is not good for electric motors, so I'm wondering how the low voltage condition may have damaged the Adler Barbour unit. I'm not particularly knowledgeable about electronic problem diagnoses, so I would appeciate any helpful hints on the most likely source of the problem and possible fixes short of replacing the entire unit (they're not cheap...).
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post #2 of 18 Old 07-21-2008
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Don't know whether you fried the coils on your refrigerator compressor motor or not, since it depends on whether the motor was designed with low voltage protection or not. Some are, some aren't.

Check to see if your fridge has a fuse or fusible link that may have blown during the low voltage problem.

This is one reason I like the Engel refrigerator on my boat, since I keep the DC power to it off unless I'm out sailing and run it off the AC side of its system.

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post #3 of 18 Old 07-21-2008 Thread Starter
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Sdawg - thanks for the response. I'm guessing the unit is original (1988) and may not have had low voltage protection designed into it. If not (and I apologize for the ignorance demonstrated by this question) where would I begin to look for a fuse or fusible link that may have blown (and why would one blow on low voltage?)?
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post #4 of 18 Old 07-21-2008
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Uwyoda-

The best explanation of it I've seen is from this website:

Quote:
Low Voltage

On lightly loaded motors with easy-to-start loads, low voltage has little effect. Low voltage can reduce the starting ability of motors with heavy loads and shorten their life due to overheating. Motors that drive fixed loads draw a fixed amount of power from the line. When operated at a voltage below their nameplate rating, these draw more current to compensate for the low voltage to provide the same amount of power. Under heavy mechanical loads, the current will increase even more. When the motor current exceeds the nameplate rating, heat will build up in the motor that if sustained can damage the motor insulation.
So, as the voltage of the batteries dropped, the current drawn by the compressor motor would have gone up and blown the fuse or fusible link. If there wasn't a fuse or fusible link, it is very likely that the windings on the motor got fried.

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post #5 of 18 Old 07-21-2008
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There ARE fuses on the older Adler barbours...the old automotive glass types.
Check the fuse holders on the unit and let's hope they worked!

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post #6 of 18 Old 07-21-2008
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I figured there probably was one... but didn't know what kind or location . Thanks Cam.
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Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
There ARE fuses on the older Adler barbours...the old automotive glass types.
Check the fuse holders on the unit and let's hope they worked!

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post #7 of 18 Old 07-22-2008
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I just solved my old AB problem, and it was not so unlike your situation. For some reason the main service breaker to our AC power tripped off one day, so the house batteries took over, and ran the batteries down to a point where the AB did not have enough power to start and run. We didn't know how long it was when this situation happened, but it must have been at least a week. I switched the main service breaker to the on position, and let the battery charger get the house batteries back up to normal again. When I turned on the AB it would try to start, but couldn't stay on...just kept cycling on and off. I checked the wiring, connections, and replaced the AB circuit breaker at the ships panel, but the AB just kept cycling on and off. I checked the fuse on the AB's controller mounted in front of the AB compressor, but it was still good...I'm looking at anything at this point. I finely found out that the controller is very sensitive to voltage spikes, so I decided to get a new controller for the AB. It's been two days now, and the AB is working again.

A good site that talks about refrigeration problems is this one kollmann-marine.com :: View Forum - Refrigeration for Boats , and it helped me solve my problem.
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post #8 of 18 Old 07-22-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uwyoda View Post
Sdawg - thanks for the response. I'm guessing the unit is original (1988) and may not have had low voltage protection designed into it. If not (and I apologize for the ignorance demonstrated by this question) where would I begin to look for a fuse or fusible link that may have blown (and why would one blow on low voltage?)?
1) On the unit (most likely)
2) On your fusebox (that'd be the Homer "doh!" solution)
3) Somewhere in the hot wire between the unit and the fusebox

beej67, Checkered Past, 1980 32' Pearson 323, Panama City FL
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post #9 of 18 Old 07-22-2008 Thread Starter
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controller module

JiffyLube - thanks for the input! I still need to go thru the electrical diagnostic hints all have provided (breaker, fuses, connections), but if it appears the controller is the problem would you mind telling me where you purchased it?
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post #10 of 18 Old 07-24-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uwyoda View Post
JiffyLube - thanks for the input! I still need to go thru the electrical diagnostic hints all have provided (breaker, fuses, connections), but if it appears the controller is the problem would you mind telling me where you purchased it?
I ordered the controller through Fridoboat . Good thing I called them to order the part, because they gave me a local company to order through that saved me some money. I paid about $190.00 for the controller, and I got the part a few days later.
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